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Siblings have needs too...


Due to recent events I have been thinking a lot about the impact on my other children in having an sn brother...As many of us know many brothers and sisters argue with each other, have fights, say that they don't like each other and that is completely normal but what if it goes that wee bit further than normal and gets to the point where you think " whats changed to caused such extreme behaviour?"

I get jealous of the attention he gets...

I don't like him having to undergo so many medical tests..

He always wrecks my things...

Why do I always have to help him, why cant he be "normal" like my friend's brothers & sisters...

The above comments are what my children especially my eldest has told me... We have been have several issues with his behaviour recently and after talking to him it was brought to my attention that while we ( my husband & I ) were learning & trying to accept and adapt our lives to having a child with special needs we had not given a thought to how it had affected our other children... we had assumed that they were simply too young to understand... how wrong were we...

My children tell me that we don't play games enough anymore because my attention is taken up to dealing with Reuben, they resent the time that I have to spend doing activities, therapies & caring for Reuben. Its hurtful hearing all this as we have become so wrapped up in ensuring Reuben gets all his needs met, going to hospital appointments and so on that by telling the older two to go and play in their room, play on their DS's , to watch TV etc that without realising they have started to become isolated in some ways because they have to spend a lot more time at home than their peers, have to amuse themselves while their parents are busy dealing with their sn brother...they don't have others to talk to that would understand how they feel, they don't talk to their friend about it simply because their friends don't understand what it means to have a sn sibling..

They also get angry at Reuben for getting let off if he does something naughty whereas if they did something naughty then they would get told off or a punishment like sent to their room or time out... 

So I have sat them down and explained in simple terms what is wrong with Reuben, why he is the way he is, explained to them how he doesn't understand right from wrong, how his understanding is very limited, that he cannot communicate and much more.... finally its starting to get through to them that their brother is "different" , they are trying very hard to be more understanding but there are days when they "forget" and get all frustrated and I have to explain everything again.. I hope that as they grow up they will understand a lot more and don't need me to constantly remind them why its not Reuben's fault if he has wrecked something they lovingly built, why its not his fault that he screams non stop sometimes...

Ive also come to realise that they are grieving too... we grieved for the "normal" child we didn't have, they are grieving for the "normal" brother they don't have, one who could play games with them, one who could run around after them, one who could talk to them about things, one who could lie with them in bed watching DVDs on boys nights...

With all this realisations hitting me this past week I have made a promise to myself to do a lot more for my other children.. I'm going to arrange a rota with my husband so that we each spend individual time with each child without Reuben there...to play games with them when Reuben is napping during the day instead of trying to tidy the house or sort out paperwork which could be done when they are in bed, and most importantly to listen to them more and talk a lot more about feelings instead of trying to brush them under the rug..

But despite all those issues , having an sn sibling has changed my children for the better in some ways... they are getting lessons in sensitivity, ability to get along with others, tolerance of differences, compassion & patience.

He is very funny with the faces he pulls...

He is very cute and I want to cuddle him all the time...

He does silly things that make me smile & laugh...

Despite his problems - I love him very much.....










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